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Interactive Metronome

Brain Based Rehabilitation & Training


What is Interactive Metronome?

Interactive Metronome is a research supported, brain based rehabilitation and training program that is used by over 2500 Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists all over the United States and abroad. It is designed to improve the processing abilities that affect attention, motor planning and sequencing. This is accomplished by using innovative neurosensory and neuromotor exercises developed to improve the brain’s ability to repair or remodel itself through a process called neuroplasticity.

Participants are instructed to synchronize various hand and foot exercises to a reference tone heard through headphones. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor action such as hand clapping while wearing an IM glove with palm trigger or tapping his/her toes on a floor sensor mat. A patented audio or audio and visual guidance system provides immediate feedback. The difference between the patient’s performance and the computer generated beat is measured in milliseconds. The score provided indicates timing accuracy.



What is the IM Gait Mate?

IM Gate Mate is an extension of Interactive Metronome that allows the patient to move freely and receive continuous feedback during exercises. A wireless insole detects when the patient perfoms a heel strike. It instructs the client when he/she is walking too slowly or to slow down if he/she is shuffling or dropping his /her foot too quickly. The patient receives no positive feedback if there is no heel strike (i. e., toe walking). Gait Mate works by improving:

  • Motor planning
  • Sequencing
  • Coordination

Goals of therapy with the Gate Mate:

  • Improve biomechanics
  • Alter gait speed
  • Increase stride length

Benefits of Interactive Metronome (IM)

IM demonstrates that gains in motor planning, rhythmicity, timing and sequencing lead to improvements in the following areas in neurological and motor rehabilitation:

  • Attention and Concentration
  • Language Processing
  • Behavior (Agression and Impulsivity)
  • Fine/Gross Motor Skills
  • Balance and Gait
  • Strength and Endurance
  • Coordination
  • Motor Skills for Independent Living

Independence with Prosthetic Limbs Adult and pediatric clients who have benefited from IM include those with:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Cerebral Vascular Disease
  • Balance Disorders
  • Limb Amputation
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
  • Decline in Function
  • Developmental Disorders

Clinical Research Results of IM

(Thaut et al., 1997) Controlled, double blind study of hemiparetic pts., 3 months post CVA, who received a 6 wk course of BID PT. The experimental group received Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS) and demonstrated statistically significant improvements vs. controls in ambulation velocity, stride length as well as decreased EMG amplitude variability of the gastrocnemius muscle.

(Hausdorff et al., 2007) Parkinson’s Disease (PD) pts. and healthy age-matched adults were compared during a 100m walk while receiving an RAS beat. Statistically significant carryover effects were observed in the PD group in reduction of stride to stride time variability, increases in gait speed, stride length and swing time. Researchers concluded that carryover affect suggests the possibility that RAS facilitates motor plasticity.

(Shaffer et al., 2007) Controlled, double blinded research studying boys aged 6-12 yrs, Dx’d with ADHD with the experimental group receiving 15 hrs of IM. Significant improvements in the experimental vs. controls noted in attention, motor control, language processing, reading and parental reports of aggressive behavior.

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